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Absconding diamond businessman Nirav Modi tracked down in London

09 March 2019

The rent in London's West End is estimated to cost around 17,000 pounds a month.

The long-drawn extradition process of fugitive Nirav Modi - who has been in London for almost a year after leaving India in the wake of allegations of major financial rows - is set to begin in British courts after home secretary Sajid Javid certified India's request on Thursday. To this too he says: "No comment".

In the video, a healthy Modi has grown a handlebar moustache.

Hitting out at the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a video message, "Today, the fugitive diamantaire "chota Modi" Nirav Modi has been traced to London - living a luxurious life in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a jacket worth 10,000 British Pound".

The ED and the CBI are investigating Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed past year. The fraud engineered by him is probably the country's largest ever bank fraud.

The ED tweet drew sharp flak for the Modi government as former Finance Minister P Chidambaram launched a tirade against the BJP for criticising the then UPA government for a similar request in the case another businessman Lalit Modi, who too has taken refuge in London and has been living in England for several years. "Of the the remaining 47 structures, 24 had been demolished and Mr. Modi's bungalow was 25th to be pulled down", Sharada Powar, Sub Divisional Magistrate, said.

After a year of hiding, Nirav Modi has now reportedly settled down with a diamond business of his own in Soho area near his flat. In August 2018, the Indian government had forwarded the requests from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to the United Kingdom authorities seeking the extradition of Nirav Modi.

Besides, Choksi - now a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda, many celebrities, industrialists, top businessmen, film and television personalities own big and small properties on this picturesque stretch of central coastal Konkan region, barely an hour's boat ride from the mainland at Gateway of India. This firm was incorporated in May previous year and is linked to the flat.

The diamond tycoon is seen walking down the streets of London, repeatedly saying "sorry, no comment" to questions by a Telegraph reporter on his extradition status, how long he intends to stay in London and about his business partners.

A source told the Telegraph that he had been given a National Insurance number, meaning he can legally work here, and has used British bank accounts. He has also been in contact with a wealth management company based in west London, which specialises in advice to rich foreigners.

Absconding diamond businessman Nirav Modi tracked down in London